SC encourages COVID vaccinations for bar examinees in November

Published August 11, 2021, 1:52 PM

by Rey Panaligan 

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court (SC) has strongly encouraged bar examinees this November to have themselves vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) “for the protection of bar personnel and examinees.”

Based on the tenor of the Bar Bulletin issued on Wednesday, Aug. 11, by the SC through Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, chairperson of the 2020-2021 bar examinations commitee, the SC has yet to decide on whether COVID-19 test results would be mandatory for bar examinees.

The 2020-2021 online bar examinations will be conducted by the SC on Nov. 7, 14, 21, and 28 in 16 testing centers nationwide. So far, there has been no changes in the schedule.

Online applications for the November bar examinations started last July 15 and will end on Sept. 15.

Associate Justice Leonen said bar examinees should avail themselves of the free vaccination offered by their local government units (LGUs).

Leonen said the SC is coordinating with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to have bar examinees, who are not in the priority groups, included in the vaccination programs of the government.

“We have had positive discussions with the Vaccine Czar (Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr.) regarding this request,” he said.

At the same time, Leonen said the SC is “also working on the possible procurement of COVID-19 testing kits for bar examinees.”

Leonen also said: “The COVID-19 protocols for the Bar Examinations in November will be announced in early October, when we have an informed view of the possible situation at that time. We have also been preparing for various scenarios and actively monitoring developments from several credible sources.”

The 2020 bar examinations were cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic and the SC decided to hold the tests simultaneously with the 2021 examinations this November.

The SC had launched the online application system through BAR PLUS, “a homegrown online application system through which prospective applicants for the Nov. 2021 Bar Examinations will submit their verified petition, other required documents and information including proof of payment of the bar application fee.”

Leonen said: “BAR PLUS was created to facilitate a safe, equitable, and inclusive Bar Examinations. All potential examinees will submit their applications digitally and through mail. A potential examinee will be required to personally appear only when there are difficult issues in their applications which cannot be addressed in any other manner.”

“Before accessing the portal, bar applicants are required to read and strictly follow the instructions in the document referred to as Frequently Asked Questions located at,” he also said.

The testing centers are the St. Louis University in Baguio City, Ateneo de Manila University, Manila Adventist College, Saint Louis College – La Union, Saint Mary’s University, Cagayan State University, De La Salle Lipa in Lipa City, University of Nueva Caceres, University of St. La Salle – Bacolod, Central Philippine University, University of Cebu – Banilad, Mindanao State University – Iligan, Mindanao State University – General Santos City, Ateneo de Davao University Xavier University – Cagayan de Oro, and Ateneo de Zamboanga University.